Prof. Matthew Blake
898-3608 :: email@example.com
THMA 339 :: M/T/W/Th 9:30-10:45
IAT reminder: If you have not already, take the test and post to discussion board during this week.
Brief discussion with sample responses:
Announcement: Exam one is next week. Format is multiple choice, true/false and matching. There will be a review sheet posted on this site early next week. Blake will provide scantrons. (MONDAY SECTION'S TEST IS DELAYED DUE TO BLAKE'S JURY DUTY.)
These two attempted to accomplish the same goal as the IAT: Elicit the subconcious perspective. Both were Swiss psychiatrists, founders of analytical psychology & many theories of the unconscious.
Both Freud and Jung studied the subconscious for clues about human behavior. Most often accessed through dream analysis, the subconscious reflects a psychological component as important as the conscious mind, they reckoned.
Jung idealized the spiritual as primary motivation in behavior and interaction. Similar considerations lead to his influencing the formation of AA during the 1930s. Later, Jung introduced the concept of the collective unconscious.
Jungian archetypes are "preconscious psychic dispositions that enable a (man) to react in a human manner."
Archetypes are present in different types of culture and methods of communication. In historical folk culture, archetypes are often mythical figures, transferred orally. Examples that are still accessible and relevant in popular culture include:
The most common and well-known archetype within folk cultures or myths is the hero. It existed in classical Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages and existed in the Far East, Africa, Native South and North American cultures. Many of these cultures have never been in contact, meaning they conceived of the hero figure independently. Examples include:
Much like migration of cultural forms from folk to popular cultures, ancient heroes, such as Hercules (from Ancient Greece, son of Zeus, completed the 12 labors) continue to be reinvented in modernity.
The traits of the hero character, according to Henderson, include the following:
In modern popular culture, archetypes are presented as standard characters, transferred through electronic media. In both folk and popular culture, archetypes help inform and organize human thought. As culture evolves, new archetypes are formed and sometimes articulated through mass media.
But Jung's foundational archetypes were timeless in their nature and were meant to provide basic structure to understand human experience.
Other Jungian archetypes are more common in cultural forms, whether popular, folk or other representations:
Along with the hero, among the most commonly recurring archetype in folklore, myths and modern popular culture is the trickster, which Leland discusses in chapter 7 of our book.
As briefly discussed by Leland, in the Uncle Remus tales, Br'er Rabbit character embodies the trickster. The character being more slight but also more witty than Br'er Fox, outmanuevers the fox in the "Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby." Like other folk tales, this story was adopted and made childish by Disney.
Scholars have concluded that the Br'er Rabbit represented African-American slaves' abilities to persevere during their enslavement.
The trickster is clever, mischievous and disrupts existing order. He is concerned first with his physical appetites, he is immature, and is often cynical and unfeeling.
Some archetypes provide character structures in modern popular culture, for example, in the Star Wars film saga.
Some archetypal characters in Star Wars and other historical and cultural references relied on familiar icons in modern culture for understanding and representation. For example:
While archetypes represent an ideal form, stereotypes apply one possible character trait to an entire group. Although, stereotypes may originate with an archetype.
Since archetypes begin with a singular form, we might say Michael Jordan is the archetype of a great basketball player. This archetype assumes certain characteristics present among great basketball players.
Meanwhile, a stereotype is an overly generalized concept or assigning an archetypal characteristic to an entire class of individuals.
For example, one might examine a list of the all-time greatest basketball players and conclude that there are more African-Americans than whites in the NBA. This would be this correct assumption: During the last 15 years, about 75% of NBA and 60% of college players are black.
But, the error is the wider application of the trait or characteristic to a group as an erroneous generalization. The stereotype erroneously indicates that because most professional & college basketball players are black, most or all black people are exceptional basketball players. Thus,
This is illustrated in The Office, when boss Michael Scott picks an African-American worker to play on his team based on simple stereotype. It is intended for humor by revealing Scott's ignorance.
In short, the characteristics of the archetypal great basketball player is applied to an entire group in a stereotyped understanding.
Contemporary archetypes are not restricted to the Jungian forms or an individual medium; with electronic communication comes new construction of archetypes. Cultural figures -- fictional and non-fictional alike -- fill archetypal forms. See Star Wars above; also, westerns, crime stories contain archetypes.
We collectively create archetypes to label concepts. For example:
Let's consider others in greater depth.
The archetype need not be an individual; can be a concept, like a (hair) band, a song or a musical production. The Beatles' White Album has been referred to as an archetypal album and other performers' career-defining albums have borrowed the concept.
"It's like their White Album," is the frequent refrain of the music critic. Meanwhile, artists ranging from Jay-Z (Black Album), Danger Mouse (Grey Album), and Metallica (Black Album) have referenced the White Album in their own productions.
What characteristics define the White Album archetype?
Consider the following examples, which demonstrate the diversity of styles, musical brillance at the height of The Beatles career:
The slacker archetype has been around since at least the 1800s, even if the concept went by another name. The characteristics remained stable, though. The slack rejects responsibility, work, underachieves and feels no guilt for performing this way.
The archetypal origins of the slacker is seen in the mid-1800s, when it was witnessed in literary form during industrial revolution. Workers during the industrial revolution(s) were being alienated from his own production (Marx). The result was dissatisfaction with one's labor.
This became a theme in literature of the period. For example:
By the late 1990s, a new era of technological development had begun -- the information age, which found its own class of alienated workers content to "slack" on the job. While also witnessed in literature, the dominant icons of the digital-age slacker is seen in American film and television.
The 1999 comedy Office Space chronicles the life of office workers and one archetypal slacker, Peter. Peter embodies the low-level employee within a corporate bureaucracy. It identifies many frustrations of modern life through the use of archetypes.
To conclude class, we consider the following scenes:
Peter has not yet become the slacker archetype, which occurs after a hynotherapy session that puts Peter in an altered consciousness.
This process, similar to Jung's thoughts on the subconscious, leaves Peter as having a new perspective about work and life. This is most obvious when he is reviewed.
Matthew Blake, CSU-Chico Department of Journalism and Public Relations